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Old 11-06-2016, 01:37 AM
shang shang is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Ogden, UT
Posts: 488
Default 5 Miles of Hell! San Rafael Swell, Utah

Well it's been on the list for years, but I finally rode 5 Miles of Hell. If any of you are familiar with this trail, then you know it's really 8 miles of hell. (Rumor has it that the creator of the trail, Dick Brass, thought that if it was named 8 miles of hell, then no one would ride it. I have no idea if that's true.)

As usual, the gasser worked flawlessly. Climbed like a goat and never let me down. Even after I let it down, (even upside down) several times.

The trail is pretty relentless. Lots of shelved slickrock climbs covered in sand, gravel, and basketball sized rocks. The only time it ever lets up is when it drops into short sand washes, but even these are bottomless sugar sand and proved to be hard to keep upright in. Normally my confidence in this type of terrain is really high, and since 90% of this sport seems to be mental, I should have slayed it. But... as I began to fatigue, it started to get into my head. It took about three miles of fighting the bike through the rocks to get my head back in the game. After that, I felt pretty good again.

We rode probably 50 miles in 8 hours. And 6 of the hours were on the 8 miles of 5moh. There were times when I couldn't pull the clutch anymore or lift my arms. I started with a full camelbak, but ran out of water two miles from the end of 5moh, and 20 miles from the truck despite the temps being high 50's - low 60's. It was work. I think we could have done the trail in about half the time, but we were in a fairly large group. I think a group of three experienced riders would be the most efficient way to do it.

If you had a catastrophic bike failure out there, you would have to leave the bike. There really would be no way get it out short of taking it out in pieces on your back, or a helicopter.

Neat place!

Beginning of 5moh

End of 5moh (and some of the orange pride parade I rode with)

2013 GasGas XC300E
2005 YZ290
1973 Honda CB175
1997 KX60
1983 Yami Tri-Zinger
1984 Suzuki Alt 50
1969 Trail 90
1971 Trail 90
1972 Trail 90
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Old 11-06-2016, 05:19 AM
husley's Avatar
husley husley is offline
Bronze Level Site Supporter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Western US
Posts: 536

Soooo want to go!!!
Thanks for the encouragement

2015 KTM 450 XCW
2014 350 XCF Wife's
2009 200 ec. Loving it
2007 Beta Rev 3 270
2007 KTM 200 XC Wife's

Public Lands belong to the Public
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Old 11-06-2016, 03:54 PM
Brian VT Brian VT is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vermont, USA
Posts: 826

I really miss living in Utah, even though I was on an '84 XR500R when I lived there. Wish I knew then what I know now.
(EC300 with trials tire would have been heaven)
Glad all went well. Nice ride to add to the list of accomplishments.
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Old 11-06-2016, 04:39 PM
thumperflipper thumperflipper is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 134

NICE! Sounds like you rode it better than I did LOL, my bike was on its side more times that day than probably it's whole life. I remember laughing nervously as I stood by that pile of bike parts at the start of the trail. Lots of high penalty areas if you don't get it right... And sustained arm pump, dehydration, exhaustion, fatigue, I was so happy to see that same exit sign your buds are parked beside. We rode to 5MOH from camp in Goblin Valley, and rode back, don't remember the miles, but I had NO gas visible in my clear Clark tank when we pulled into camp at dark
We are going back next April to camp at Goblin Valley and ride the "color" trails and try 5MOH again. Time is morphine, it makes you forget the pain Thanks for sharing the pics and events, it got my blood pumping just hearing about it!!!
07 GG EC300
11 GG EC300E
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